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Pattaya Daily News

18 January 2009 :: 11:01:21 am 39481

Thai Navy Reasserts Denial Of Inhumane Acts On Illegal Migrants

SAMUT PRAKAN, Jan 17 - Thailand's Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Kamthorn Poomhiran on Saturday showed pictures reiterating that his subordinates did not commit any abuse against illegal immigrants belonging to ethnic minority Rohingyas from the Myanmar-Bangladesh border who had travelled to Thailand in search of work.
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Denying an earlier BBC report which charged that the Royal Thai Navy mishandled illegal immigrants by setting them adrift off the Thai coast on a boat with no engine and limited food and water supplies, Adm. Kamthorn said the report was not true, and that there was no need to set up an investigative committee.

He said he had evidence showing that Thai navy had treated the illegal immigrants in a humanitarian manner and that the pictures which were shown by the foreign media were probably taken by tourists who did not understand the procedures of the authorities.

“Over 200 illegal immigrants at that time entered the country while there were only 18 naval personnel so it was necessary for us to order them to take off their shirts to make sure that they were not armed, Adm. Kamthorn said.

Navy personnel had to order the refugees to lie down with their hands behind their heads to prevent them from attacking, the senior naval officer said.

Photographs shown by the navy chief to the media showed that the asylum seekers were later given food and shelter before they were asked to leave the country.

Illegal entry into Thailand by Rohingyas has threatened Thailand’s security as their arrival between 100-200 people each time have “caused problems to social and public health,” Adm. Kamthorn said.

He said he believed no Thai would want to see 200 illegal immigrants entering Thailand freely on a daily basis. (TNA)


Related news:
Thais hold more migrants amid row
Rights group: Thai navy abandoned migrants at sea

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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